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Articles from Aids To Forensic Medicine And Toxicology

Modes Of Sudden Death

Evidence Of Poisoning

Incised Wounds And Those Accompanied By Solution Of Continuity

Nitric Acid

Hydrocyanic Acid

The Inebriates Acts

Contused Wounds And Injuries Unaccompanied By Solution Ofcontinuity

Duty Of Practitioner In Supposed Case Of Poisoning

Mercury And Its Preparations

Examination Of Persons Found Dead


Zinc Silver Bismuth And Chromium





The salts of zinc requiring notice are the sulphate and chloride.

=Sulphate of Zinc= has been taken in mistake for Epsom salts. In large
doses it causes dryness of throat, thirst, vomiting, purging, and
abdominal pain.

Post-Mortem Appearances.--Those of inflammation of digestive tract.

Treatment.--Tea, decoction of oak-bark, carbonate of potassium or
sodium as antidote.

=Chloride of Zinc.=--A solution containing this substance (230 grains to
the ounce) constitutes 'Burnett's disinfecting fluid.' It is a corrosive
poison.

The symptoms are burning sensation in the mouth, throat, stomach, and
abdomen, followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, with tenesmus and distension
of the abdomen. The vomited matter contains shreds of mucous membrane
with blood. There is profound collapse, cold surface, clammy sweats,
weak pulse, with great prostration. The treatment is to wash out the
stomach with large and weak solutions of carbonate of sodium.
Mucilaginous drinks may be given, and hypodermic injections of morphine
are useful to allay the pain.

Method of Extraction from the Stomach.--Dry and incinerate the tissues
in a porcelain crucible, digest ash in water, apply tests.

Tests.--Ammonia, a white precipitate soluble in excess, reprecipitated
by sulphuretted hydrogen; ferrocyanide of potassium, a white
precipitate; sulphuretted hydrogen, a white precipitate in pure and
neutral solutions. Nitrate of baryta will show the presence of sulphuric
acid, and nitrate of silver of hydrochloric acid.

=Silver.=--Nitrate of silver is a powerful irritant.

Tests.--Black precipitate with sulphuretted hydrogen; white with
hydrochloric acid.

Treatment.--Common salt.

Chronic nitrate of silver poisoning is characterized by argyria. The
gums show a blue line, which is darker than that produced by lead, and
the skin presents a greyish hue, which is permanent.

=Bismuth.=--The bismuth salts are not poisonous, but may contain arsenic
as an impurity, although this is far less common than it was some years
ago.

=Chromic Acid, Chromate, Bichromate of Potassium.=--These act as
corrosives when solid or in concentrated liquid forms. In dilute
solutions they act as irritants. Used as dyes; have proved fatal more
than once. Those engaged in their manufacture suffer from unhealthy
ulcers on the nasal septum and hands. The former may to some extent be
prevented by taking snuff. Lead chromate (chrome yellow) is a powerful
irritant poison. Two drachms of the bichromate caused death in four
hours.

Tests.--Yellow precipitate with salts of lead, deep red with those of
silver.

Treatment.--Emetics, magnesia, and diluents. Washing out of the
stomach with weak solution of nitrate of silver.





Next: Gaseous Poisons

Previous: Copper And Its Preparations



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